Posts Tagged 'State Rep. Connie Pillich'

House Dems Stand in Solidarity with Michigan Workers

Ohio House DSolidarity with Michigan photo 121112  01emocrats stood in solidarity with their Michigan colleagues and friends by wearing red carnations to House session today. Ohio workers faced similar unsafe and unfair attacks on their right to collectively bargain, in Senate Bill 5, which was put to a voter referendum and passed with nearly 62 percent of the vote. State Rep. Connie Pillich (D- Montgomery) released the following statement on behalf of the caucus.

“This is a fight we are all too familiar with in Ohio.  We stand in support of our brothers and sisters in Michigan and across the nation.  Not too long ago men and women fought and died for the right to collectively bargain for safe work conditions and a livable wage, and now that right is under attack again in Ohio and across the nation.  Put simply, so called ‘right to work’ is wrong. Statistics show states with this anti-working family legislation have lower wages and higher poverty rates. We will continue to stand together and fight against these unfair attacks on workers in Ohio, Michigan and across the country.”

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Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus Announces New Leadership

The Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus recently met to elect new leadership for the 130th General Assembly. Representative Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) has been elected the Chair for the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus.  Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) was elected Vice Chair, Representative-Elect Heather Bishoff (D-Columbus) will serve as the Secretary, Rep. Pillich (D-Cincinnati) the Treasurer, Rep. Fedor (D-Toledo) Policy Chair, Rep. Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) will serve in a newly created position as the Development Chair.

These women will strive in the next General Assembly to build upon the framework laid by Rep. Nancy Garland (D-Columbus), as she will not be returning for another term. Under her leadership, the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus was active, visible, engaged and worked to further the lives of women in Ohio through policy initiatives. 

“I am honored to be elected to serve as the new Women’s Caucus Chair,” said Rep. Antonio.  “I can only hope to follow the exceptional leadership provided by Rep. Nancy Garland.”

This past General Assembly, the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus met regularly to discuss issues concerning women. Their goal: to develop policies that enhance the livelihood of women such as fair pay, health initiatives and the protection of women’s rights. The caucus organized a Women’s Lobby Day on May 15, 2012 bringing women from across Ohio to lobby Representatives regarding bills in the legislature that impact the lives of women and families. The caucus had annual retreats to advance their agenda and strategize as they worked to promote policies for the welfare of women. 

The Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus also uses social media to promote greater public awareness of their work and of bills of interest to the caucus. 

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Rep. Pillich Recognized for Work on Behalf of Veterans by Dept. of Defense

The Department of Defense recognized State Rep. Connie Pillich for her leadership in fighting to improve the lives of service members and their families in Ohio during the 2012 legislative session.  The certificate of appreciation was presented by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert L. Gordon III.

“I am honored and humbled by this award.  It is important that we support the men and women who risk the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom,” said Rep. Pillich.  “It has been my goal to ease the transition back to civilian life for our service members, and work to ensure they and their families have the services they need during difficult times.”

Rep. Pillich is widely regarded as a champion for veterans, active duty service members, and military families.  She has fought hard on behalf of Ohio’s service members and veterans by introducing legislation and working to affect positive policy changes in Ohio and nationally.  Rep. Pillich has introduced legislation that would enable deployed or transferred military service members to terminate a housing lease (HB 106), connect veterans with their benefits (HB 450), and help veterans and their families get back to work (HBs 196, 449, and 494).  She has worked to make sure all those who have served and lost their lives or who have been disabled are recognized for their service (HBs 549 and HB 568).

“While we have made great strides in improving the services for Ohio’s service men and women, there is more that can be done.  I will continue to fight to ensure the best possible quality of life for our service members and their families,” said Rep. Pillich.  

In the previous legislative session, Rep. Pillich worked for the passage of legislation to improve the efficiency of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services (HB 461).  She also fought to strengthen veteran’s benefits in House Joint Resolution 1, improve the efficiency of nursing care for veterans, and revise the entry standards for those seeking care at Ohio’s Veterans Homes (HB 449).

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Rep. Pillich Urges Congress to Pass Veterans Jobs Corps Act

State Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery) announced she will introduce a House Resolution urging Congress to immediately pass the Veterans Jobs Corps Act.  This week, the bill was blocked in the U.S. Senate by Republicans.

The Veterans Jobs Corps Act would create new job training programs to help veterans utilize their military skills and find work in targeted fields, including police and firefighting, historic preservation, and national park conservation.  This bill was fully paid for and did not initiate any new spending.

“As the men and women who have proudly served this nation return home, it is our duty to make sure they can find good paying secure jobs,” said Rep. Pillich.  “There is a lot of talk about how important job creation is but there has been little action.  Now is the time to act.  The Veterans Jobs Corps Act will work to ensure our veterans can make a living and provide for their families once they return home.”

Veterans have been disproportionately affected by the recession in recent years.  The rate of unemployment for veterans has often drastically outpaced civilians.  In some segments, veterans’ unemployment rate reached 48 percent. In August, the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan- era veterans was 10.9 percent.

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House Dems Call on Legislative Leaders to Convene a Transparency Taskforce

State Reps. Ted Celeste (D- Grandview); Jay P. Goyal (D- Mansfield); Matt Lundy (D- Elyria); and Connie Pillich (D- Cincinnati) held a news conference to discuss the lack of transparency across government.  This comes after the release of a national report by the Center for Public Integrity in which Ohio received an overall grade of “D” for risk of corruption.

“We call on our legislative leaders today to take action and convene a special taskforce to review the current laws and enforcement practices and to take the necessary steps to correct problems, and ensure full accountability and transparency throughout government,” said Rep. Goyal.  “We have a responsibility to the people of Ohio and it is simply unacceptable for us to fail to ensure government is working for Ohioan’s best interest at all times, not for special interest or influences.”

The lawmakers sent a letter to legislative leaders today calling for them to convene a special bi-partisan taskforce to review the enforcement practices of current laws and consider new legislation to strengthen accountability and transparency across government.  The letter also calls for hearings on bills already introduced that address several of the areas covered in the report. A copy of the letter can be seen below.

There have been numerous concerns raised in recent weeks involving a lack of transparency and accountability inside and outside of government. Most recently state and federal law-enforcement officers have been called on to investigate potential quid pro quo dealings. 

“This Governor is determined to operate this state in the dark. We can never let that happen. If you have nothing to hide you should always want the process to be as open as possible,” said Rep. Lundy.  “As legislators we must take action to correct these problems immediately.”

Other instances include serious questions surrounding the state’s top independent watchdog, Inspector General Randy Meyer, and his ability to objectively investigate fraud and corruption.  These questions came to the forefront after Mr. Meyer participated in the most partisan of activities by headlining a GOP fundraiser.

“At a time when the people of Ohio feel Columbus and government are out of touch and unaccountable, the role of an independent Ohio Inspector General is more important than ever,” said Rep. Pillich. “It is simply unacceptable for Ohio to not address these ongoing issues of lack of transparency and possible corruption in our state government.”

“Ohio leads the nation in terms of political gerrymandering,” said Rep. Celeste.  “Last year’s attempt at redrawing statewide and Congressional boundaries was done in such a way to deliberately withhold information from the public about redistricting.  As elected officials who represent the best interests of our constituents, we should demand better from ourselves and from each other.”

Not surprisingly, Ohio received an “F” in the State Integrity Investigation for redistricting, legislative accountability, and lobbying disclosure.

A copy of the letter sent to legislative leaders can be seen below.

March 26, 2012

Dear Honorable Leaders of the Ohio General Assembly,

We write today with great concern over the recent ethics report from the State Integrity Investigation, in which Ohio received a “D” grade overall.  Among the various 14 categories in which Ohio was graded, we received only two grades higher than a “C-”. 

Specifically, Ohio received a “C-” for both public access to information and political financing; a “D-” for both executive and judicial accountability; and an “F” for redistricting, legislative accountability, and lobbying disclosure.

This situation is unacceptable, and needs to be dealt with.  Therefore, we are hereby calling upon the leaders of the Ohio General Assembly to create a bi-partisan taskforce to review the enforcement practices of current laws and consider new legislation to strengthen accountability and transparency.

Furthermore, each of us has already introduced legislation that would address many of the areas that received among the lowest of grades.  Thus far not one of these bills has received a single committee hearing.  Not only are these important bills not getting passed, but they are not even being considered and discussed.  Therefore, we are hereby calling on the following bills to be called up for committee hearings immediately upon the legislature’s return from spring recess: HBs 55, 113, 294, 413, 451 and HJR 5.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best Regards,

Jay P. Goyal
State Representative
District 73
Connie Pillich
State Representative
District 28

Ted Celeste
State Representative
District 24

Matt Lundy
State Representative
District 57

C: Speaker William Batchelder, Senate President Thomas Niehaus, Minority Leader Armond Budish, Minority Leader Eric Kearny


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